Motherwell defender Scott Burns is adamant Scotland’s under-18 schoolboys squad can march to Centenary Shield glory when they take on the Republic of Ireland later this month.
Burns played his part as Scotland came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against England at Ewood Park last week, a result that prevented the Three Lions from claiming the Shield.
That draw, along with the same result against Northern Ireland and a 5-1 thrashing of Wales, means Scotland have the opportunity to share the Shield if they win in Dublin.
It’s a stark turn around for Scotland, who last year lost all four of their matches to finish last and Burns is proud to be a part of the team and certain they can get the result they want.
Burns, who attends Braidhurst High, said: “Winning the tournament would just be incredible, we didn’t do well last year so to come and be unbeaten this time is amazing.
“You don’t get many chances to go to England and get anything so we were happy with the point and the performance. It was such a fast and physical game that it was tough to play in but it was a really great experience.
“I loved every minute of it, that’s the type of game I like to play in so it was really enjoyable. We are really happy with the result in the end and especially with our performance in the second half.
“I think we created enough opportunities to win the match and maybe we just needed to be a little bit more clinical.”
Scotland coach Stewart Taylor admits he will remain impressed with his youngsters no matter what the outcome should be in Dublin.
He said: “We emphasised to the boys that they didn’t want to be standing and spectating when England lifted the Centenary Shield.
“That gives us real purpose going to Dublin – we have everything to play for. We are pretty focussed on that and we are looking forward to it.
“I have been delighted with them. Like any group of teenagers they are never going to be perfect but overall they have been absolutely fantastic.
“They have been a credit to their parents, their clubs and their schools. It has been a privilege to be able to work with a group like that.”
TSB, proud partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland U18 schoolboys squad for their 2014 Centenary Shield campaign.
For all the latest squad news, visit SSFA